Jeremy Clarkson says hurling abuse is part of football as he talks Euro final

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Jeremy Clarkson said it was "fun" being in the Wembley crowd at the Euro 2020 final – as hurling abuse is "part of football".

The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host said he had no problem with the behaviour of the fans he experienced during England's penalty shootout defeat by Italy.

He witnessed a "crowd of boisterous young men in good spirits", "drunkenness", "chanting", and "a penalty shootout that England lost" – which all added up to a "perfectly normal football match".

Like most of Britain he was appalled by the racist abuse the Three Lions' stars who missed spotkicks got on social media afterwards.

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Clarkson, 61, said "racially hammering" Rashford and his fellow penalty fluffers Jadon Sancho and "that poor kid" Bukayo Saka was "not on".

"Especially because, if you think about it, missing a penalty makes them more English than afternoon tea," he said.

But he maintained Rashford deserved `stick' for his miss.

"Not because he's black but because he did that silly jiggly run-up and then hit the post," he said.

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The Grand Tour presenter said he supported calls to abolish anonymous trolls on social media so race hate message posters can be held accountable.

"But let's not get carried away," he went on.

"Abuse is part of football, only it's called "stick".

"Fans point out that Harry Maguire has a very big head and that our glorious and wonderful keeper, Jordan Pickford, is a Tyrannosaurus rex because he has such short arms.

"Steven Gerrard of Liverpool is taunted even to this day because he once fell over allowing Demba Ba from Chelsea to score a goal.

"Gareth Southgate got stick for missing a penalty. So did Stuart Pearce. Anyone who ventures onto the pitch is fair game.

"During post-match interviews you can sometimes hear the crowd chanting, "Sky TV is f****** s***", and if one of the stewards looks a bit like the Prime Minister, everyone's going to point at him and sing, "There's only one Boris Johnson".

"It's important that this sort of thing continues because it's what makes an afternoon's football so enjoyable.

"I'd certainly be sad if the next time Chelsea play Liverpool I'm banned from singing, "The wheels on your house go round and round".

"And they'd be sad if they couldn't poke fun at us for eating prawn sandwiches."

Inside Wembley Clarkson said he encountered a "very stoned man" who kept turning round to ask which "five players I'd use for the inevitable penalty shootout".

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Behind him "three tremendous young lads" kept chanting: 'You can shove your twirly pasta up your a**e'.

"This was football. This was a football crowd. It felt great," he said.

Outside a fan emptied a wrap of cocaine on his windscreen, his girlfriend's son was rammed off his bicycle by a "car full of jeering Italians", people "put flares up their bottoms", bicycles were smashed and "on social media things got very ugly".

But he said the match still more fun than the tennis at Wimbledon.

  • Jeremy Clarkson

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